Bisi in Tecia

Venetian Stewed Peas


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This simple recipe was created in the Veneto to enhance the special qualities of the local pea crop, grown on the foothills of the mountainous crag of Lumignano. Here, the effect of the sun’s reflection against the rock creates the microclimate that allows this rich flourishing - so much earlier in the season than elsewhere that it used to be traditional to send the precious crops to Venice for the Feast of Saint Mark on 25 April. During the post-war period the production of these peas fell into decline but in recent years the cultivation of the ‘Bisi di Lumignano’ is once again celebrated and every weekend during the month of May the piazzas of the town of Lumignano celebrate their Sagra dei Bisi - the Festival of Peas.


  • 200 g/7 oz baby onions
  • 2 kg/ lb fresh, tender peas
  • 50 g/2 oz unsmoked pancetta
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • sea salt and ground black pepper


  1. Trim and peel the onions and put them into a bowl of cold water to soak.
  2. Pod the peas and place these into another bowl of cold water to soak.

  3. Finely chop the pancetta and put it into a pan with the butter. Place over a medium heat, melt the butter and fry the pancetta for about 5 minutes, until the fat is running, stirring frequently.

  4. Drain both the onions and the peas and add them to the pan. Stir together, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until softened. Stir and baste occasionally with water during the cooking period, as required.

  5. When the peas and onions are cooked through, remove from the heat, stir through the parsley, adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve immediately.